BRASS bands have played an important role at the heart of their communities for generations- with many dating back to the 1800s.

With their modern roots in the industrial revolution and increasing urbanization the bands often revolved around workplaces such as mines and mills and were frequently financed by employers.

By 1860 there were more than 750 brass bands in England scattered in towns and villages across the country - and the area we now know as Aireborough was no exception.

Bands took off in Guiseley, Rawdon and Yeadon - and these photographs from the online archives of Aireborough Historical Society show some of their early history.

Many of the images are of Yeadon Old Band, which was formed in 1850.

A 1905 photograph shows the band assembled in uniform and with a large drum. The band was founded by William Hudson and William Taylor.

The AHS archive says: "For several decades they played with their own instruments or new as the band were able to acquire them.

"In 1900 they were able to buy a complete new set of instruments from Boosey & Co London for the sum of £200.

"This enabled the band to produce a consistent uniform sound.

"They rehearsed in available rooms and have never had a band room of their own. "They became an integral part of Yeadon life, playing at most public events.

"There was a strong family tradition within the band, generation following generation. One of the most recognised members was Walter Jackson, a member for over 50 years, he died in 1940 having been conductor for 30 years.

"During this time the band won 37 prizes and he was awarded 7 medals for conducting.

"Ladies were able to join from 1930."

Yeadon Old Brass Band also appears in an image from 1931. At that stage the bandmaster was Harry Jackson. On the front row to the left of the table with shield and cups, wearing a bowler hat is Harry Jennings of Naylor Jennings, Green Lane Dyeworks.

The band appears again in images from the 1950s which were donated to Aireborough Historical Society by Sharon Broadhead.

The band can be seen leading a parade, believed to be Yeadon Carnival. The picture was taken as bandsmen came round from Ivegate onto the High Street. Other participants in the parade can be seen following, while spectators stand around enjoying the show.

In the second image, on Yeadon Carnival day, the band members take time to pose for a photograph, watched by a group of girls behind them. Peter McCone is standing 3rd in from the left.

An image of Rawdon Brass Band dates back to 1890. The bandsmen are all in uniform with their instruments, and it is thought the drummer could be Tom Houlden who was born in 1856.

A photograph of Guiseley Brass Band was taken in April 1937outside the Charlie Yates auction house.

The AHS website says: "John Hopkinson has told us that the bandsman with the euphonium next to the right of the bandmaster is Richard Beaumont Hopkinson,1921 - 2008, my eldest brother.

"My grandfather, Richard Bellamy, bought him a trumpet when he was seven, and he played in the band until he was 85 or 86.

"He married Daisy Shipley, from Brandesburton, near Beverly, in 1948, at her home parish church."

The band was formed in 1870 by Sir Matthew Thompson of Parkgate, who had also helped pay for Guiseley Town Hall in 1867.